Looking for a way to get out of your Monday morning Zoom meetings to host an old school dance party? Consider starting off your day with this recently discovered glitch.
According to The New York Post, Microsoft’s principal software engineer Raymond Chen revealed on his blog earlier this week that Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” has the same sound frequency as the hard drives of some older laptop models, causing them to crash when the song is played from the device.
As crazy as it may seem, this example of resonate frequency is similar to glass shattering when it’s exposed to certain sounds. Chen reported in his blog that this was discovered by an “unnamed computer manufacturer” when nearby computers close to the original device playing the song began shutting down.
“I would not have wanted to be in the laboratory that they must have set up to investigate this problem. Not an artistic judgment,” Chen wrote in his blog post.
“It turns out that the song contained one of the natural resonant frequencies for the model of 5400 rpm laptop hard drives that they and other manufacturers used,” according to Chen.
The engineer also mentioned that now, manufacturers have added a “custom filter in the audio pipeline that detected and removed the offending frequencies during audio playback,” which resolved the bug.
“And I’m sure they put a digital version of a ‘Do not remove’ sticker on that audio filter. (Though I’m worried that in the many years since the workaround was added, nobody remembers why it’s there),” Chen wrote.
“Hopefully, their laptops are not still carrying this audio filter to protect against damage to a model of hard drive they are no longer using,” he added.
While Jackson’s Billboard topping hit was released in 1989 and has earned praise throughout the years for its powerful lyrics and iconic video, I’m sure even the Y2K believers couldn’t have predicted this one.